While on vacation in California between touring the sites of Los Angeles, Beverley Hills, and Santa Monica and chilling on Venice beach, I allowed myself time for reflection. As your reading this you might ask yourself who goes on vacation for reflection? The purpose of a vacation is to take a mental break from the troubles of reality; and to escape into a temporary world where all things are possible.
A vacation means downtime from the regular routine, grind and mental chaos. I ask you to take moment and think about what would happen if you scheduled a little time for quiet reflection.
Reflection isn’t a difficult task versus the task of thinking about all the unsolved situations you left at home. Instead, reflect on certain areas of your life or perform a quick check list of where you are spiritually, emotionally, are your relationships serving a positive purpose in your life, how is your health, finances, career, what does your golden years look like ? Are you living up to your full potential , or stuck in a rut of going through the motions just to get through each day?
How many of us go on vacation to far exotic places only to do a count down of the days until you have to return to ” that life”. You secretly wish that you can remain in the mode of vacation because decision-making is easy, you eat, play, sleep, more fun, eat, play and sleep. On vacation relax time is in abundance there is no rushing to meet deadlines, solve family problems while trying to make time to get to the ” To Do List”.
Here is the truth of the situations. If your on vacation running around trying to cram as many activities you can in a short amount of time; you wake up early, rush to get to the places you want to see. And if your traveling with children you will find yourself trying to solve their problems by keeping them busy. The conflict between you and your spouse because he or she wants to be left alone, but you insist they join in on the fun. Stop. Isn’t this the same chaos you planned a vacation to get away from? If you return home more exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained than when you left for your vacation, it is time for reflection. Vacations don’t have to be jammed packed with ” fun things” to do everyday. What happened to the down time?
Vacations can be perfect time to reflect on why there seems to be too much chaos, and not enough balance between relax time and the busy hectic days of worrying about life. Before my trip to Los Angeles, I planned my days. I traveled with a friend who felt that he too could benefit from a different scene and time for reflection. It was our first time in California, we stayed in a comfortable Airbnb. First full day, we spent the entire day at Venice Beach. The second day we woke late, walked to a coffee spot and enjoyed sitting, talking, and taking our time. We spent the remaining of the day exploring downtime Los Angeles. The third day we woke late and stayed In and did our separate work, I am a teacher, blogger, writer and public speaker. My travel partner is a social worker and he is designing a new website dedicated to social issues. He said the vacation allowed him the time he needed to relax and to focus on his new career. Day four we took a two hour bus tour, dinner and walked the three miles back to our Airbnb.
We both agreed that we where going back to New York City relaxed and in a clearer state of mine. I look forward to my next mini vacation the last week in August before the fall school semester begins. I have reserved a cottage in Virginia Beach.
When was the last time you had downtime for deep reflection?